The low and inadequate wages paid to early childhood educators continue to be a barrier to recruitment and retention of qualified staff according to a progress report on the Government of BC’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy.
Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia (ECEBC) and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) released their report, Evaluation of Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, on January 11, 2022. The report is part of an evaluation project that allows BC’s early learning and child care (ELCC) sector to comment on the implementation of the strategy.
Highlights of the findings:
- Sector reported wages increased between $2.50 and $4 an hour. Monthly income of those working in child care centres has grown nominally by 9 per cent in that time. Yet many professionals consider their wages only modest recognition for their credentials and seniority.
- The average ELCC worker is still paid $7 per hour less than similarly educated adults in BC.
Impact of Wage Enhancement
- The BC Government’s Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement is appreciated by the sector. Approximately 90% of ECEs in BC received the wage enhancement in 2021.
Staffing and Employment
- 45% of employers are losing more staff than they can hire.
- 27% of employers needed to refuse registering children into programs because of a lack of qualified staff.
- The main reasons provided by ELCC workers who left the field include low pay, lack of benefits, and poor working conditions.
- 85% of British Columbians believe ELCC workers are vital to children’s learning and development.
- 75% of British Columbians consider ELCC to be an essential service.
- 71% of British Columbians consider ELCC workers to be professionals.
Read the full findings report here.